Hey everyone, I’m back with the next amazing recipe for the healthy lockdown recipes series! After the power-packed green smoothie and the kids’ favourite choco-cornflake muffins, I decided to conjure something super-healthy and filling which I could have for lunch or dinner, apart from breakfast or in-between snacking. So I just hunted around and found some healthful and tasteful ingredients and here it was Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad – the yummiest, healthiest salad I’ve ever cooked or tasted.
What really is amazing about this Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad is that, it is a treat for your taste buds- with warm roasted sweet potatoes, crisped chickpeas and caramalized onions literally causing an explosion of flavours in your mouth. And you can add to the aroma with fresh rosemary, thyme or coriander. The energy kick comes from quinoa and walnuts while fresh greens add to the nutrient count of this heavenly-tasting salad. The best part is that you can have it warm or cold, without worrying about adding on flab during the lazy lockdown time.
Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad
- 2 Sweet potatoes (peeled & diced)
- 1 cup Whole walnuts
- 1 can of Chickpeas
- 2 Shallots (peeled & roughly chopped)
- 1 sprig of Rosemary, Thyme or Coriander
- 2 tbsp. Maple syrup
- Olive Oil
- Salt as per taste
- Cooked Quinoa
- Baby Kale
- Lemon/ Honey mustard/ Olive oil & salt (you can use any dressing of your choice)
- Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread the diced sweet potatoes, chopped shallots and herbs on a large sheet pan. Toss with salt and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Next add chickpeas to the pan and stir up all the ingredients together. Roast again for another 20 minutes.
- Pour the walnuts in a bowl and toss them with maple syrup and a little salt. Add them to the pan and stir it up. Roast for 5 minutes.
- The healthy and delicious salad is done. Just remove the stems of the herbs and serve the roasted mixture with cooked quinoa, baby kale and a dressing of your choice.
I recommend this recipe because the entire ingredients are easily available; generally all of us would have them or something else that we can substitute. So there isn’t a need to step out for anything. You may replace sweet potato with potato or carrot. Or add eggs, goat cheese or cottage cheese to make the salad more wholesome, which is something I usually do if I want to serve it as a meal rather than have it as a filler or snack at my work desk.
For me, brown rice also works as a nice replacement for quinoa, just to create some variety as I do mix this salad a few times a week. And of course, I can experiment with the dressing as well. So practically, I have the option to come up with a different flavour every time, depending on how creative I can be with the ingredients I have in my refrigerator or kitchen cabinets (or even the herbs in my little kitchen garden, I love that one)
Apart from the fact that the salad tastes so good and is easy to mix, I wouldn’t want to skip mentioning its nutritional value. Let me just list them ingredient-wise.
Sweet potatoes– Great source of healthy fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, they are filling but don’t result in weight gain. They even support your immune function, something that everyone wants to do at this time.
Walnuts– A fistful offers a healthy supply of omega-3s and antioxidants. They support weight loss and promote gut health as well. Moreover, they support your gut health and decrease inflammation, which can keep disease at bay.
Chickpeas– Packed with proteins, they are an excellent substitute for meat for vegans and vegetarians. They also add vitamins, minerals and fiber to the salad. Chickpeas are good for satiating your appetite but you can have them without worrying about gaining pounds.
Shallots– Not only do they enhance the flavour of food, but also supply
antioxidants, promote weight maintenance and help fight germs (which
makes them all the more important right now).
Quinoa– A super health food, quinoa is gluten-free and loaded with protein. It also brings sufficient amounts of all the nine essential amino acids. And it is also high in fiber, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and various beneficial antioxidants.
Baby kale– Kale offers a rich supply of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, calcium, iron, and a range of other nutrients. The antioxidants in it stimulate the release of unwanted toxins from the body, which makes it an ingredient of choice the lockdown season.
Such amazing benefits are only half the reason I toss up this salad at least thrice a week. The other half is the taste! Surprisingly, my little one loves it as much as I do, so this is something I can cook up for the family rather than just myself and my husband. And the best part of the deal is that it is so filling that it is as good as a full meal, so all the time I invest in cooking it is worthwhile.
More than anything else, this salad is as guilt-free as it is delicious. The quinoa version is the best one from the weight management perspective though you can be judicious with the servings of the rice version if you prefer to keep the extra weight off.
Now that I’ve given you plenty of reasons to try this incredible Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad, go ahead and mix it up. And if you have some cool ideas for experimenting with the ingredients, do share them!